Sleepy cod

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Sleepy cod

Oxyeleotris lineolata

Sleepy cod are the largest gudgeon species growing to >45 cm and 3 kg, commonly to 20 cm. Has a flattened head and protruding lower jaw. Generally dark brown on the back, lighter on the sides and whitish belly. Demersal adhesive eggs. Highly regarded as a food fish. Translocated to upper Burdekin basin above the Burdekin Falls and now widely distributed throughout the upper and lower Burdekin catchments and Bowen catchment. Also known to occur within the Ross River basin and Haughton River basin, and expected to occur within Saltwater Creek 1 of the Don River basin.

Traditional Owners Use

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Much of the information about fish species and their distribution in the Burdekin Dry Tropics region presented throughout this Wiki is based on the work of Pusey(2005). The Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater Research (ACTFR) also provided access to their Norther Australian Fish (NAF) database (in press), which contains the most current available fish survey data for tropical Australia. Allan Webb also from ACTFR provided information of the expanding list of exotic fish species recorded from the immediate Townsville region principally the Ross River. Additional information about species distribution is the authors experience (principally Jim Tait) and knowledge of the region. Descriptions of species are based on Allen et. al. (2002) and Pusey et. al (2004) with additional detail and comments by the authors of the Fish Passage Study.

Fish illustrations and mapping by Jason Carter. Illustrations have been drawn from specimens and photographs and after other illustrations, in particular Swainston and Ruse (in Allen 1997) and Pusey (in Pusey et. al. 2004)


  • Australian Centre for Tropical Freshwater Research (in press) Northern Australia Fish (NAF) database.
  • Pusey, B. Kennard, M Arthington, A (2004) Freshwater Fishes of North-eastern Australia, CSIRO Publishing. (Available from

External Links

Sleepy cod BDTNRM distribution

This is a legacy website. Content is not being updated but is kept as an archive.
Updated NRM information is now held in the NQ Dry Tropics NRM Information Portal at
while corporate information about NQ Dry Tropics is held on our main website at
NQ Dry Tropics Website